Boy and the World (O Menino e o Mundo) (2015) - Rotten Tomatoes

Boy and the World (O Menino e o Mundo) (2015)



Critic Consensus: Boy and the World's distinctive animation is visually thrilling -- and it's backed up with a daring, refreshingly different storyline that should enthrall younger viewers while resonating deeply with adults.

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Movie Info

Cuca's cozy rural life is shattered when his father leaves for the city, prompting him to embark on a quest to reunite his family. The young boy's journey unfolds like a tapestry, the animation taking on greater complexity as his small world expands. Entering civilization, industrial landscapes are inhabited by animal-machines, with barrios of decoupage streets and shop windows, and flashing neon advertisements that illuminate the night. The story depicts a clash between village and city, hand crafted and mechanized, rich and poor - and throughout the tumult, the heart and soul of the people beats on as a song. The film's music is on equal footing with the stunning visuals, a soundscape of pan-flute, samba, and Brazilian hip-hop mixing with the whirling carnival colors and exploding fireworks.more
Rating: PG (for thematic material and images)
Genre: Art House & International, Animation
Directed By:
Written By: Alê Abreu
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 5, 2016
Box Office: $47.6k
GKIDS - Official Site

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Critic Reviews for Boy and the World (O Menino e o Mundo)

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (19)

Abreu's visionary movie is a restless and dynamic creature that is forever reconstituting itself into complex visual and musical landscapes.

Full Review… | February 26, 2016
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Although the film is a bit abstract and largely free of dialogue (what little speaking there is is a whispered babble of tongues), it has a universal simplicity-we're seeing life through the wide, innocent eyes of a naif.

Full Review… | February 25, 2016
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Abreu handcrafted his images, and the imagination from which those images spring is astonishingly fertile.

Full Review… | February 11, 2016
Seattle Times
Top Critic

The little boy here... is one of the most distinctive and adorable animated characters you'll ever come across, and his introduction to "the world out there" is a moving revelation indeed.

Full Review… | February 8, 2016
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

This magical Brazilian fantasy by Alê Abreu reminded me of Nina Paley's Sita Sings the Blues and Tomm Moore's The Secret of Kells in its crafty combination of simply drawn characters (the boy) and ornate geometrical patterns (the world).

Full Review… | February 4, 2016
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Writer-director Ale Abreu's use (sparing but striking) of the blank-page aesthetic makes the frequent, lavish splashes of kaleidoscopic color all the more interesting.

Full Review… | February 4, 2016
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Boy and the World (O Menino e o Mundo)


With a lovely, simple animation in pencil and crayon full of blank spaces contrasted with a kaleidoscope of images to show a world seen through the eyes of a child, this is an impressive story that grows to become a relevant commentary, even if it is not really subtle to do so.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


"The Boy and the World" is first an foremost a vibrant and beautiful world of hand-drawn animation that will have you in awe. Aside from this aspect, it is an extremely simple (and silent) tale of a boy travelling the world in search of his father. That is truly the only plot worth mentioning here. Told through amazing visual details of our world and how things we see are much larger from a child's point of view. This picture is very smart.

As staircases pop up, they go on and on forever, but when the audience sees it from a distance, the adult world is a much smaller place. This is a very unique depiction of the world as we know it and how it differs in terms of how different people see it. The biggest downfall for me is that the film is solely about his journey and offers nothing too thought-provoking on the side. in the end, this is a very well-animated film that is definitely worth watching if you have the patience to do so. "The Boy and the World" is a sweet little tale. Worthy of it's best picture nomination for Best Animated Feature Film at the Oscars? I am not so sure about that.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer


I saw this at the 2015 Cleveland International Film Festival. I was hoping to see An Honest Liar, but it sold out, so my wife picked this animated Brazilian picture that was playing around the same time slot. I was not thrilled to see it as one photo and the synopsis did not do it justice, however it gradually took hold and ended up impressing me quite a bit. The story, which is almost completely without dialog, is very much on the theme of the Circle of Life, although on the surface it may appear simpler. Most synopses highlight a little boy's quest to find his father after the father leaves their country home for a job in the city. Visually the movie consists of a broad range of styles as Alê Abreu explores different stages of life. On a nearly empty screen the film focuses on minute details as well as being fantastically full of color a few moments later, and it is breathtakingly kaleidoscopic at other times. If you have a chance to see this visually creative film, pay special attention to the people the boy meets along his journey and see if you can pick up the hints that are dropped like bread crumbs leading to the circular conclusion.

Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer

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